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Welcome to the website of the International Cartographic Association
Get to know the new ICA Executive Committee for the term 2023-2027
Get to know the ICA Commissions for the term 2023-2027

Report of the 13th Mountain Cartography Workshop

The 13th ICA Mountain Cartography Workshop, organized by the Commission on Mountain Cartography (CMC), was held April 3-7, 2024 at the base of Poland’s Tatra Mountains.

Workshops are usually held biennially, alternating with the International Cartographic Conferences (ICC). This year, CMC workshop got back on this traditional schedule, after the 12th ICA CMC Workshop in the Colorado Rockies needed to be rescheduled twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was originally scheduled for April 2020, then initially rescheduled to April 2022, and finally convened in April of 2023.

The workshop organizer was Rafał Jońca of AMG Maps. CMC Chair Patrick Kennelly supported the team in preparation of the workshop, and previous workshop organizer Tom Patterson and ICC liaison Dušan Petrovič provided plenty of logistical support. Tom Patterson was especially helpful in building the web site for the workshop, as well as answering numerous questions about how we could recreate the success of the Colorado 2022 ICA CMC workshop.  We selected Limba Grand & Resort as the workshop venue because of its proximity to Krakow, Poland (about three hours away by train or car), and for its beautiful mountain setting. Limba Grand & Resort is near the city of Zakopane and within easy reach of the Tatra Mountains that serve as the southern border of Poland with Slovakia.

The workshop had 36 participants from Poland, Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Croatia, India, New Zealand, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Switzerland, and the United States. Five of the participants were female and five were students.

The theme of this year’s workshop was “Mapping Mountains in a New Era” to focus on how we approach mapping mountains, and how this focus may change in the coming years. The workshop featured 23 presentations grouped into 7 sessions. Rafał Jońca organized the program and was flexible in accommodating the needs of speakers both before and during the workshop. He asked several younger participants to chair sessions with the goal of making them feel welcome and involved.

The workshop began on Wednesday evening with welcoming remarks from Rafał Jońca and Patrick Kennelly.

This was followed by a social time in our spacious dining room, which the Limba Grand & Resort allowed us to use in addition to our meeting and recreation rooms. A downstairs great room provided access to pool, ping pong, and foosball tables for evening recreation. Nearby was a third room we had available to us for social gathering. Our meeting room had all the needed equipment for presentations, and also served as a map and poster gallery.

Thursday and Saturday were devoted to presentations covering a variety of topics related to mountain cartography. Presentations were either 10 or 20 minutes in length. Thursday evening after dinner opened with shorter Avalanche Talks by presenters who discussed their poster contributions. This year, all five Avalanche Talks were given by undergraduate students from Middlebury College in Vermont, USA who completed their posters as part of a Senior Seminar with their professor, Jeff Howarth, who unfortunately was not able to attend. Many participants noted these beautifully designed and thought-provoking posters, along with the interesting and engaging overviews from the students’ Avalanche Talks, as a highlight of the conference. This session was followed by the CMC business meeting which was run by CMC Chair Patrick Kennelly.

Friday was the Field Study Day. The purpose is for participants to get to know both the beautiful mountain setting of the Tatras and one another better in a more informal manner. Participants had three options. Rafał Jońca led a cultural tour of Zakopane and its environs, including city center of Zakopane, with a focus on local wooden architecture in Zakopane’s style and an old cemetery of Zakopane. The tour also included a funicular to a stunning view of the Tatras and Zakopane. After organizing transportation to the nearby Tatra National Park for all interested participants, Dušan Petrovič led a field study to the iconic Morskie Oko, while Charly Kriz led other participants on a hike to a spectacular viewpoint of the Tatras.

Upon returning to the Grand Limba & Resort, the last activity on Friday was the always challenging mountain trivia quiz hosted by Tom Patterson. The winning team (Alex Fries, Karel Kriz, Dušan Petrovič, Ondrej Prochazka, and Silviu Bumbak) scored 20 out of 27 possible points.

The workshop continued on Saturday with additional presentations. Also, Dušan Petrovič, our liaison on the ICA Executive Committee, provided an overview of the ICA and other items that were of interest to the CMC attendees. He also presented two attendees with Young Scientist Scholarships to assist in their travel costs, Madeline Grubb from the United States and Shekhar Kumar from India.

ICA scholarship awardee Madeline Grubb from the US

ICA scholarship awardee Madeline Grubb from the US

ICA scholarship awardee Shekhar Kumar from India

ICA scholarship awardee Shekhar Kumar from India

The workshop concluded Saturday evening with a night out in Zakopane at the Góralski Browar, a fun and festive conclusion to the workshop.

The workshop program, CMC business meeting notes, and other information are available on the CMC website at https://mountaincartography.icaci.org, and all photos in this report are courtesy of Charly Kriz and Dušan Petrovič.

Rafał Jońca, Patrick Kennelly, and Dušan Petrovič

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